Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer

2019 Hugo Award Finalists Announced, and the List is Gorgeous

This content contains affiliate links. When you buy through these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Margaret Kingsbury

Contributing Editor

Margaret Kingsbury grew up in a house so crammed with books she couldn’t open a closet door without a book stack tumbling, and she’s brought that same decorative energy to her adult life. Margaret has an MA in English with a concentration in writing and has worked as a bookseller and adjunct English professor. She’s currently a freelance writer and editor, and in addition to Book Riot, her pieces have appeared in School Library Journal, BuzzFeed News, The Lily, Parents,, and more. She particularly loves children’s books, fantasy, science fiction, horror, graphic novels, and any books with disabled characters. You can read more about her bookish and parenting shenanigans in Book Riot’s twice-weekly The Kids Are All Right newsletter. You can also follow her kidlit bookstagram account @BabyLibrarians, or on Twitter @AReaderlyMom.

I’m not sure I’ve ever looked at an awards list and sighed in happiness, but that’s what I did when I saw the finalists for the 2019 Hugo Awards (scroll to the bottom to see the full list). This list is gorgeous—a work of art on its own, in every category.

Let’s talk about some highlights. The list is dominated by women, with 5/6 women finalists in Novel, Novella, Novelette, AND Short Story, and 4/6 in Best Series. That’s amazing and proves what all we Rioters already know—women rock at writing SFF. We always have, and we always will. And in these five categories, nine nominations go to authors of color, a decent amount, though SFF awards in general still need more diversity.

This is the first year the Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book will be awarded, and the finalists in this category are equally strong. There’s only one book I haven’t read—The Invasion by Peadar O’Guilin. I’m putting it on my TBR list right now.

Some other highlights: clearly, rocks the novella and novelette market, deservedly; I’m sooo behind on movie watching (thanks to baby) because I haven’t seen a single nominated film; BUT I am a Dr. Who fan and happy to see my favorite episode is nominated (I won’t say which one); and that the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer will be a super hard choice to make.

I love the Hugo Awards because they’re fan-based. Anyone can purchase a membership to nominate and vote in these awards.

Any favorites on the list?

Best Novel

  • Revenant Gun by Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris)
  • Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente (Saga)
  • Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik (Del Rey / Macmillan)
  • Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse (Saga)

    Best Novella

    Best Novelette

    Best Short Story

    Best Series

    • The Centenal Cycle by Malka Older ( Publishing)
    • The Laundry Files by Charles Stross (most recently Publishing/Orbit)
    • Machineries of Empire by Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris)
    • The October Daye Series by Seanan McGuire (most recently DAW)
    • The Universe of Xuya by Aliette de Bodard (most recently Subterranean Press)
    • Wayfarers by Becky Chambers (Hodder & Stoughton/Harper Voyager)

    Best Related Work

    Best Graphic Story

    • Abbott written by Saladin Ahmed, art by Sami Kivelä, colours by Jason Wordie, letters by Jim Campbell (BOOM! Studios)
    • Black Panther: Long Live the King written by Nnedi Okorafor and Aaron Covington, art by André Lima Araújo, Mario Del Pennino and Tana Ford (Marvel)
    • Monstress, Volume 3: Haven written by Marjorie Liu, art by Sana Takeda (Image Comics)
    • On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden (First Second)
    • Paper Girls, Volume 4 written by Brian K. Vaughan, art by Cliff Chiang, colours by Matt Wilson, letters by Jared K. Fletcher (Image Comics)
    • Saga, Volume 9 written by Brian K. Vaughan, art by Fiona Staples (Image Comics)

    Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form

    • Annihilation, directed and written for the screen by Alex Garland, based on the novel by Jeff VanderMeer (Paramount Pictures/Skydance)
    • Avengers: Infinity War, screenplay by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo (Marvel Studios)
    • Black Panther, written by Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole, directed by Ryan Coogler (Marvel Studios)
    • A Quiet Place, screenplay by Scott Beck, John Krasinski and Bryan Woods, directed by John Krasinski (Platinum Dunes / Sunday Night)
    • Sorry to Bother You, written and directed by Boots Riley (Annapurna Pictures)
    • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, screenplay by Phil Lord and Rodney Rothman, directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman (Sony)

    Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form

    • The Expanse: “Abaddon’s Gate,” written by Daniel Abraham, Ty Franck and Naren Shankar, directed by Simon Cellan Jones (Penguin in a Parka/Alcon Entertainment)
    • Doctor Who: “Demons of the Punjab,” written by Vinay Patel, directed by Jamie Childs (BBC)
    • Dirty Computer, written by Janelle Monáe, directed by Andrew Donoho and Chuck Lightning (Wondaland Arts Society/Bad Boy Records/Atlantic Records)
    • The Good Place: “Janet(s),” written by Josh Siegal & Dylan Morgan, directed by Morgan Sackett (NBC)
    • The Good Place: “Jeremy Bearimy,” written by Megan Amram, directed by Trent O’Donnell (NBC)
    • Doctor Who: “Rosa,” written by Malorie Blackman and Chris Chibnall, directed by Mark Tonderai (BBC)

    Best Professional Editor, Short Form

    • Neil Clarke
    • Gardner Dozois
    • Lee Harris
    • Julia Rios
    • Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas
    • E. Catherine Tobler

    Best Professional Editor, Long Form

    • Sheila E. Gilbert
    • Anne Lesley Groell
    • Beth Meacham
    • Diana Pho
    • Gillian Redfearn
    • Navah Wolfe

    Best Professional Artist

    • Galen Dara
    • Jaime Jones
    • Victo Ngai
    • John Picacio
    • Yuko Shimizu
    • Charles Vess

    Best Semiprozine

    • Beneath Ceaseless Skies, editor-in-chief and publisher Scott H. Andrews
    • Fireside Magazine edited by Julia Rios, managing editor Elsa Sjunneson-Henry, social coordinator Meg Frank, special features editor Tanya DePass, founding editor Brian White, publisher and art director Pablo Defendini
    • FIYAH Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction, executive editors Troy L. Wiggins and DaVaun Sanders, editors L.D. Lewis, Brandon O’Brien, Kaleb Russell, Danny Lore, and Brent Lambert
    • Shimmer, publisher Beth Wodzinski, senior editor E. Catherine Tobler
    • Strange Horizons edited by Jane Crowley, Kate Dollarhyde, Vanessa Rose Phin, Vajra Chandrasekera, Romie Stott, Maureen Kincaid Speller, and the Strange Horizons Staff
    • Uncanny Magazine, publishers/editors-in-chief Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas, managing editor Michi Trota, podcast producers Erika Ensign and Steven Schapansky, Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction Special Issue editors-in-chief Elsa Sjunneson-Henry and Dominik Parisien

    Best Fanzine

    • Galactic Journey, founder Gideon Marcus, edited by Janice Marcus
    • Journey Planet edited by Team Journey Planet
    • Lady Business edited by Ira, Jodie, KJ, Renay & Susan
    • nerds of a feather, flock together edited by Joe Sherry, Vance Kotrla and The G
    • Quick Sip Reviews edited by Charles Payseur
    • Rocket Stack Rank edited by Greg Hullender and Eric Wong

    Best Fancast

    • Be the Serpent presented by Alexandra Rowland, Freya Marske and Jennifer Mace
    • The Coode Street Podcast presented by Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe
    • Fangirl Happy Hour hosted by Ana Grilo and Renay Williams
    • Galactic Suburbia hosted by Alisa Krasnostein, Alexandra Pierce, and Tansy Rayner Roberts, produced by Andrew Finch
    • Our Opinions Are Correct hosted by Annalee Newitz and Charlie Jane Anders
    • The Skiffy and Fanty Show produced by Jen Zink and Shaun Duke, hosted by the Skiffy and Fanty Crew

    Best Fan Writer

    • Foz Meadows
    • James Davis Nicoll
    • Charles Payseur
    • Elsa Sjunneson-Henry
    • Alasdair Stuart
    • Bogi Takács

    Best Fan Artist

    • Sara Felix
    • Grace P. Fong
    • Meg Frank
    • Ariela Housman
    • Likhain (Mia Sereno)
    • Spring Schoenhuth

    Best Art Book

    John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer

    • Katherine Arden (2nd year of eligibility)
    • S.A. Chakraborty (2nd year of eligibility)
    • R.F. Kuang (1st year of eligibility)
    • Jeannette Ng (2nd year of eligibility)
    • Vina Jie-Min Prasad (2nd year of eligibility)
    • Rivers Solomon (2nd year of eligibility)

    Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book